Last night was the premiere of the much-hyped sitcom 2 Broke Girls. Centered around Max (Kate Dennings), a broke-ass and strong-willed waitress living in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, her life is changed when former heiress Caroline (Beth Behrs) enters her life as a new waitress. Beth uses her business savvy to help her with creative ideas to make money and eventually open her own cupcake bakery. I was curious to see if this sitcom would truly capture the Broke-Ass spirit and way of life. And, in a world where cable produces the best comedy, if a major network can still create a viable sitcom.
Did it capture the Broke-Ass Lifestyle?
Debatable. Max is an over-worked waitress by day at a Williamsburg, Brooklyn diner. Considering her outspoken and sassy personality, you would think she’s enjoy talking with the varied characters coming into the diner. She seems put out by everyone and enjoys coming up with insulting comebacks for the obnoxious hipsters that come in for service.She has a love-hate relationship with her perverted line cook and the elderly man who…I’m not sure what his job is, other than to create witty quips to entertain Max while she works (this is a sitcom, after all).
This is all to set up that Max is head-strong, independent and hard-working. As we know, hard work is called hard work for a reason, but Max is an interesting character and I hope we can see her take a moment to enjoy living in Brooklyn and the people she meets there. Sure, being broke can suck, but at least she is broke in one of the best places in the world.Max lives in a rather spacious one-room loft/studio. It’s not quite as egregiously unbelievable as the West Village palace that chef Monica and waitress Rachel seemed to afford, but in real life there would probably be about seven people sharing the one open space. Aside from her waitress uniform, Max does seem to have a pretty stylish wardrobe, albeit more thrift-sore than Park Avenue.
Aside from a philandering boyfriend and her affinity for baking, it’s still too early to tell who Max is as a person, but I do like that despite her tough-as-nails exterior, she does have a caring side which allows her to take pity on the spoiled, privileged Caroline. However, Caroline is not completely vapid- she has a degree from Wharton and is determined to make it on her own after her family’s assets were frozen due to a Ponzi scheme.
Does it work as a sitcom?
Still too early to call. It’s actually kind of strange this day and age to watch a comedy that still uses a laugh track. And being on a major network, I’m not sure with how “edgy” it can actually go. Then again, within the first five minutes, there was mention of Max’s “vagina drying up” and a double meaning of “your waitress is coming.” The delivery of these lines (pausing for a beat) perhaps made it seem like they were edgy for edginess’ sake.
The socialite millionaire that Max is a nanny for is so vapid that she seems to use her motherhood as just another accessory and her apparent lack of interest in motherhood is amusing, but I am not sure if such dark humor can be sustainable and heightened throughout a season with just becoming abyssmal and too dark in a light-hearted comedy.And, since this is Williamsburg, the show wouldn’t be complete without a hipster joke every 10 minutes, including her current boyfriend’s struggling band (headbands, asymmetrical haircuts, thick glasses and tuxedo tee shirts included).
Mocking hipsters is already a tired concept and an easy target. It’s meant to show that Max is a “real” person and doesn’t stand for poseurs, but considering her trendy thriftstore wardrobe and the Peter, Bjorn and John theme song and numerous guitar-strum interludes, it’s unrealistic she would shun all that show an affinity for the hip. I think a struggling artist and/or musician would make an interesting supporting character instead of lumping all of the “hipsters” into one big joke setup.
Despite some cringe-worthy set-up-and-execute jokes (“Are you a Schwarzenegger Night Maid? Because you are SCREWED!”) I’m willing to give 2 Broke Girls another try. Kat Dennings is appealing, great to look at, and is comically snarky without being truly mean. The pilot episode ended with a figure on the screen that showed how much Beth and Max have earned so far towards opening their own business; watching them creatively earn money is much more interesting than watching them moon over hackneyed dating adventures. Although I am sure some zany, sitcom-esque misadventures are yet to come.
2 Broke Girls Airs Mondays at 9:30pm on CBS.
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